Rutgers MBS at the Yale Graduate Case Consulting Competition
The MBS program has always encouraged students to go all out when it comes to exploring their interests and interacting with industry professionals to bolster professional growth. With a shared passion for the world of consulting, three MBS students- Deepti Mithrananda, Sunam Suresh and I, along with Adhithi Kanthan, a peer from the Rutgers Biomedical Engineering Department, prepared and put forth our application to participate at the prestigious Yale Graduate Case Consulting Competition (YGCC) held in March 2017 at Yale University in New Haven, CT. We all are consulting amateurs, but what united us was the desire to learn and experience something that would take us closer to our ambition of becoming a consultant. Our interests were further fueled by our subsequent selection into the competition - which meant that now, we had to pull up our socks and work hard.
The competition format was simple: we were given a business case prompt one week prior to the competition. We had one week to come up with a strategy to solve the problem, and we could use any tools we wanted to research and finalize solutions backed by solid analysis. We referenced a lot of case consulting material and even ran market research surveys to help us understand if we were thinking in the right direction. When we presented our ideas to the judges, they praised us for our ability to think outside the box and come up with so many innovative solutions. Since this was our first competition, we did not secure a winning position, but it was a step in that direction. The judges were very constructive with their feedback, and the YGCC team even made their notes available to us to make sure that we learn and improve.
Our competition was followed by a lunch panel discussion with a few of the judges, and then came the final round. The finals saw the top 4 teams competing to win. This was a learning experience like no other- we got a chance to take notes and reflect on our performance. The realization was that to win at a case competition- everything mattered- right from the presentation style, to the strategy, but most importantly, the analyses behind the strategy that would help convince a judge to see reason. The judges were professional consultants working at firms such as BCG, McKinsey, L.E.K Consulting, Simon Kucher Partners, CBPartners etc.
Apart from learning a lot, the forum also gave us a chance to network with these top professionals at the end of the competition. All of them were very receptive to questions, shared nuggets of wisdom, and encouraged us to keep pursuing our passion with persistence. What made the whole experience even better was the chance to explore a little bit of Yale, learn about its history and bond with my teammates.
Even though we did not win, we all came back to school with confidence in our abilities and potential to one day make it to the top. We all echo this sentiment and strongly feel that as students of the MBS program, we do have opportunities to expose ourselves to a myriad of opportunities, and we must seize them to make the most of our MBS life.